Westslope cutthroat trout are one of 14 subspecies of cutthroat trout found in Western North America. These trout exist historically and today, in all three oceanic drainages (Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic) This is unique only to this species of cutthroat.
Westslope cutthroat trout are common in headwaters, lakes, and streams. Westslope cutthroat trout tend to thrive in streams with more pool habitat and cover, than streams with very few pools and little or no cover.
Westslope cutthroat trout feed primarily on aquatic invertebrates.
Westslope cutthroat trout have three possible life history strategies. These strategies include adfluvial (migrates to lakes), fluvial (migrates to rivers) or resident (stays in streams). Migratory cutthroat can travel several hundred miles between their adult habitat and their spawning habitat.
Westslope cutthroat trout reproduce in the spring, when the water temperature reaches about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Female cutthroat trout bury their eggs in a nest or redd after they have been fertilized by the male cutthroat trout. The eggs of these fish normally hatch within a couple of weeks up to a few months. Newborn westslope cutthroat fry, having just emerged from their eggs, frequently migrate back to lakes to rear after one to two years in their native stream.
The average size of westslope cutthroat trout ranges between 6 to 16 inches in length.
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